The second trimester of your pregnancy will bring more changes, but also some relief from those pesky early pregnancy symptoms. The morning sickness and fatigue that plagued you during the last three months should be fading, leaving you feeling more energetic and like your old self again.

At this point the pregnancy is becoming very real. You will grow more aware of the changing fetus inside you. Perhaps the biggest change will be the amount you start to "show." It can seem like just overnight your belly went from flat to pregnant!

Get ready - for the next three months your baby will be very busy becoming more developed. He will sprout hair and his eyes and ears will move into their correct positions. You may even start to feel some kicks and jabs! It might even be the easiest three months of your pregnancy. Here is what you can expect.

Changes in Your Body

Body Aches: Body aches, particularly backaches, will be a common occurrence during the second trimester. The weight you've gained over the past few weeks is starting to put pressure on your back, making it achy and sore. Ease the pain with proper support. Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. Avoid picking up or carrying anything heavy. You may also want to invest in supportive footwear or even a pregnancy massage.

Breast Enlargement: Hopefully the breast tenderness you felt during the first trimester is starting to wear off. However, your breasts are still growing to prepare to feed your baby. Find comfort with a larger cup size or a more supportive design.

Tender Gums: Nearly 50% of women notice sore, tender or bleeding gums during pregnancy. This is completely normal. Hormone changes are sending more blood to your gums, making them ultra sensitive. Be sure to use a soft toothbrush, be gentle while flossing, and keep up with your dental hygiene by brushing twice a day. Skipping brushes will only make your gums feel worse.

Frequent Urination: You've probably heard that pregnancy causes frequent urination. Shortly after you become pregnant, hormonal changes cause blood to flow more quickly through your kidneys, filling your bladder more often. The urge to go will lessen during the second trimester but may return during the third.

Movement: Your baby's limbs are growing and becoming mobile. Expect to feel some kicks or jabs during the second trimester (medically referred to as "quickening"). This can happen a lot or a little. Some women don't feel any movement at all - it can take until month 6 or 7.

Heartburn: Heartburn is caused by the increase of a hormone called progesterone. This hormone relaxes the muscle around your esophagus that normally keeps food and acids down in your stomach. Prevent heartburn by avoiding greasy, spicy or acidic foods. You may also try eating smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day.

Weight Gain: Hopefully your morning sickness (if you had any) has settled down by now. You may notice an increase in your appetite during the second trimester and it will continue to grow. While food will start to look more and more appetizing, pay attention to how much and what you're eating. You only need about an extra 300 to 500 calories a day during the second trimester, and you should be gaining about 1/2 to 1 pound a week.

This is a refined list to help birthmothers have an idea of what's to come. Always consult your doctor of any changes or concerns about your pregnancy. Our door is always open to discuss pregnancy needs or to answer your questions about placing a baby for adoption.